Canadian Football League

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gades suspend veteran Canadian Football League player

Defensive end Ray Jacobs was suspended indefinitely by the Ottawa Renegades yesterday for what general manager and head coach Joe Paopao called "actions detrimental to the team."
Jacobs attended practice on Monday, but was not present at Frank Clair Stadium yesterday. His absence means the Renegades will be forced to start Johnny Scott out of position at end. Scott, a 12-year veteran playing his first game this season, is normally a tackle.
"I don't know enough about what transpired, but it was an action I had to take to get this club focused," Paopao said. "I have to be up front with you: (Jacobs) isn't even on my radar this week."
Jacobs' history of off-field trouble is long.
In 2004, he was arrested near a known crack house mere blocks from the B.C. Lions' practice facility. Traces of cocaine were found in the car, but charges were never laid.
In 2002, while with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Jacobs missed a team flight to a playoff game. A year later, he admitted to alcohol abuse. A committee of Roughriders teammates deemed him too disruptive, which led the organization to trade him.
In training camp this year, Jacobs said he was still sorting out child-support payments with a Calgary woman with whom he had a relationship while with the Stampeders.
For the Renegades, the timing of Jacobs' latest misstep couldn't be worse. They're coming off consecutive road wins and first place in the CFL's East Division is at stake when they face the Roughriders tomorrow night.
Paopao has never been known as a disciplinarian, suggesting this was not a minor incident in his eyes. Only one player -- tailback Darren Davis in 2003 -- has ever been suspended in Paopao's four years with the Renegades.
Paopao learned of Jacobs' situation just before practice yesterday. That forced a scramble on defence, with Scott shifting to end just hours before the club's roster was to be set.
"I think Johnny is as good a player, and we were looking for a way to get him on the roster," Paopao said. "We'll figure something out."
When Paopao was asked whether Jacobs, 32, would return this season, he said he wanted more time to think about it. He did admit that director of U.S. scouting John Jenkins had defensive ends and middle linebackers high on the priority list during his ongoing tour of NFL training camps.
Jacobs' situation only heightens the need for bodies at those positions. As of today, the Renegades have just two healthy ends: Anthony Collier and Kai Ellis.
Ellis is being moved to middle linebacker this week, where he will start in place of Jason Kralt. Regular middle man Keaton Cromartie will have season-ending knee surgery tomorrow.
Scott, who played some end with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2003, and young Canadian Matt Kirk are the only other options at defensive end. Kralt, rookie Cam Yeow and outside linebacker D'Wayne Taylor could play middle linebacker if needed.
Meanwhile, the team made five other roster moves yesterday
- Kicker Matt Kellett is returning to the lineup, but will not kick off and has limited range of about "37 to 40 (yards) going into the wind," Paopao said. He replaces Ottawa native Mark Irvin, who had kicked in the past two games. Punter Pat Fleming will handle kickoffs.
Ellis takes receiver Frank Cutolo's roster spot. Cutolo is bothered by a bruised thigh, but he has also dropped three passes in the past two games, including two in the end zone. Markus Howell will assume his starting position.
- American Reggie Nelson steps in for guard Morris Unutoa on the offensive line, and will start opposite of Freddie Moore at left tackle. Nelson is returning from his second ankle injury of the season. This will mark the first time Ottawa has started two American tackles.
- Quarterback Brad Banks will be named No. 3 quarterback after recovering from a shoulder injury. Paul Peterson was asked to join the practice roster, but the rookie passer was not at practice yesterday as he mulled over his options.
- Ottawa natives Ibrahim Khan and Darryl Ray will dress in place of Jean-Francois Roy and Martin Gagnon. Khan will serve as the reserve offensive lineman. Ray, a slotback, is playing his first game this season.
Note: Quarterback Kerry Joseph was named CFL offensive player of the week for the second time this season after passing for 340 yards and three touchdowns against Hamilton last Saturday night.


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